White smoke

March 14, 2013

The Telegraph’s live coverage of the papal conclave is showing crowds cheering as white smoke and ringing bells signal a new pope has been elected.

He is yet to appear on the balcony.

UPDATE:
Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected as the new pope.


Knowing when to go

February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has broken with tradition by announcing he will resign at the end the month.

It’s a very sensible decision to stand down if he feels he is no longer able to do what’s required, rather than hanging on to die in office as his predecessors have done for centuries.

Too often people cling on to a position in business, politics, sport or voluntary organisations, instead of stepping back with their dignity intact before their ability, health, energy and/or  enthusiasm falters.

It isn’t always easy to know when to go but it’s always better to choose to go when you’re still making a positive contribution and can use your talents elsewhere or simply slow down and smell the roses.

The alternative is to be pushed, implicitly or explicitly because you’re no longer up to the job.


In the beginning

September 11, 2012

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . .

That’s what Genesis says and when John Banks said recently he believed the Biblical account of creation he was  ridiculed for it.

This week we’re reminded that David Shearer believes that taniwha must be respected.

Who will dare laugh at him for that?

It is a puzzling sign of the times that Christian beliefs are ripe for ridicule but indigenous gods and pantheism are treated as gospel or at least respect.

Hat tip:Keeping Stock


No Missionaries

January 31, 2012

GoNZo Freakpower wonders if a sign saying No Missionaries will keep unwanted people from his place the way a No Junk Mail sign keeps unwanted rubbish from his mailbox.

If it doesn’t he could follow the example of a friend who keeps a Bible reading by the door and quotes it at anyone who calls on a mission to convert her to their brand of religion.

Or he could try tears – it worked for me.

Our baby son and I had been home for only a couple of days after his eventful first couple of weeks of life during which he’d stopped breathing several times and had multiple seizures when we had to return to hospital.

My farmer and I decided it would be better if I drove down to Dunedin myself so I could keep the car down there. It seemed like a good idea until he went to the stock sale with our daughter leaving me at home alone.

A few minutes later some religious peddlers knocked on the door.

When I opened it they asked how I was. I said, “My baby’s dying,” and burst into tears.

They took one horrified look at me and fled.

I admire missionaries who do practical good but have never understood those who only preach. This experience reinforced my prejudice - if they’d taken their faith seriously they would have offered to help.


Meeting market without mangling message

January 8, 2012

An Australian priest is asking for crosses to be removed from hot cross buns  which are on sale in supermarkets already –  13 weeks before Easter.

Burnie priest Father Tony Kennedy said hot cross buns were originally eaten on Good Friday to remind people of the day Jesus died on the cross but they had lost much of their religious significance.

Lost much of their significance? I’d say they’ve lost all significance and have merely become another seasonal food item sold well out of season.

Meanwhile, Coles media spokesman Jon Church said it was up to Coles customers to decide how they would mark religious holidays.

“We put the cross on our buns because that’s how they like them,” he said. The buns went on sale early because customers wanted it.

If customers like a cross why give it to them for only 13 weeks before Easter, why not give them crosses for the other 39 weeks as well?

Has the supermarket asked customers if they want the cross or if it’s just that the cross identifies a type of bun they want?

Has the supermarket tried selling the buns made to that recipe without the cross?  That way they could meet the market without mangling the message of Easter.

Hot crossless buns might be just as popular.

They might be even more popular because they’d sell to people like me who react against all these desperate attempts to  get customers to buy more by ignoring them completely.


Two religions coincide or collide?

April 22, 2011

It’s Easter and it’s also Earth Day.

Christianity and the new religion coincide – or do they collide?


Do you want sex with that?

December 18, 2009

What message does a billboard with an unhappy Joseph and Mary under the duvet and the words: Poor Joseph, God is a hard act to follow give?

Catholics, evangelical protestants and other denominations who revere Mary are offended. I’ve read and heard a range of views from Christians who take a less literal interpretation of the Bible and none of them was amused either.

Archdeacon Glyn Cardy said:

“What we’re trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about,”

Does that mean he wants us to think Christmas is about sex?

I thought it was supposed to be about hope, faith, peace, joy and love.


Praying by Paying

May 13, 2009

Too busy to pray?

Just pay Information Age Prayer and they’ll do it for you.

Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.

We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.

There’s packages for different denominations and religions – Protestants and Catholics can get the Lord’s Prayer daily for just $3.95, add another $3.95 and you can pray for peace as well.

Jews and Muslims can pay/pray for their children for just $1.99.

If you don’t fit into those categories there’s one for other religions as well.

Forgive me for my cynicism, but I think this is more mammon than mission.

Hat Tip: NZ Week


Brothel gets a faith lift

April 4, 2009

The building which housed Candy’s Gentlemen’s Club in Queenstown has been bought by the Vineyard Church.

No doubt the new owners will give the former brothel a faith lift.


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